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3 things as the Mavericks travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs

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The Mavericks have won 3 of their last 4 and look to keep the hot streak going against their rivals.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Luka Doncic returned to the lineup right before the All-Star break, the Mavericks have been rolling. They’ve won three of their last four games, with each win being by double-digits.

The only loss was the head-scratcher to the Atlanta Hawks last weekend, which only seemed to happen because Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis rested on the second night of a back-to-back.

Fully operational, the Mavericks are figuring some things out with their star duo. They’ll look to keep pouncing on bad teams, as they face a San Antonio Spurs team with a 24-32 record. Despite the record, the Spurs are still within striking distance of the eighth seed, just three and a half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

Here’s what we’ll be watching for.

The Mavericks young star duo are figuring it out

For most of this season, a question mark about the Mavericks was the lack of solid play from one half of their star duo. While Doncic has been lighting up the league since opening night, Porzingis has been a slow burn getting used to a new role, new system and recovery from an ACL surgery.

In the last three wins, things are slowly starting to change. Porzingis is averaging 22 points per game in the last three wins and looking far more comfortable next to Doncic. A lot of that has been how the Mavericks are using Porzingis, giving him more touches that aren’t just shots, involving him in more actions and letting him find a rhythm without forcing up a difficult shot.

Playing at center has helped too, with Porzingis being the primary screen-setter for Doncic with Dwight Powell out with his Achilies injury. The Spurs stubbornly like to play two bigs sometimes still, so it’ll be fun to see if the Mavericks smaller starting lineup can exploit it.

Seth Curry lighting it up

Here’s what Curry is doing in his last 10 games: 17.6 points per game on 53.1 shooting from the field and 54.7 percent from three. This is the Curry we all imagined before the season started.

It was a rough go early on, when Curry was in and out of the starting lineup with weird minutes and weird games — it seemed really hard to get Curry shots despite the fact that he was by far the Mavericks best shooter. Teams cramped on Curry’s spacing, not fearing the rest of the Mavericks lineup outside of Doncic or Porzingis.

With the rest of the role players hitting over the last few months, Curry has finally found some room and confidence. Curry has been at 15 points and at least two made threes in every game of February except for one. He’s now starting in the Mavericks small-ball lineup and him and Tim Hardaway Jr. are giving defenses fits next to Doncic.

Keep the focus up against bad teams

The Mavericks have mollywhopped the last three bad teams they’ve played at full-strength and they’ll need that effort and execution against another poorly performing team in the Spurs.

San Antonio has only won four of its last 13 games, including dropping six of its last eight. Dallas does well on the road and against sub-.500 teams, so this should be another comfortable win. The Mavericks will need all of them they can get before the schedule roughens up a bit in March.

Simply put: take care of business.

How to watch

The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. CT and can be watched on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.